Chestnut Ice Cream | with Chestnut Puree

Chestnut Ice Cream | with Chestnut Puree
Chestnut Ice Cream with Chestnut Puree

This Chestnut Ice Cream is made with store-bought chestnut puree. So you can call it a cheaty one if you like, especially if you are a fan of making everything from scratch. Although cooking your chestnuts and making your own chestnut puree results in chestnut heaven, when it comes to making dessert, I mostly opt for the ready-made stuff. Hence this recipe, a very quick and easy way to making chestnut ice cream.

And this recipe is, indeed, super fast to make. It is also very reliable, as the canned chestnut puree provides consistent results, something that the homemade chestnut puree doesn’t.

If you still want to make your own chestnut puree, this recipe will not do, because the ice cream’s success depends on the water it contains. When making your own chestnut puree, you cannot know its final water content, which may vary a lot, depending on the preparation method you have followed.

So feel happy to proceed with making this recipe with the store-bought variety, because not only will it definitely succeed, but the ice cream will also have a perfect, creamy, velvety texture.

Chestnut Ice Cream | with Chestnut Puree

Before beginning, make sure that your ice cream maker will be ready for use when needed. This means that if it has a removable freezer bowl, it should be put in the freezer beforehand,  for the time indicated by the manufacturer.

You do not have to worry about eating raw eggs in this recipe. By pouring the right amount of the boiling cream into the right amount of fridge-cold eggs, while whisking vigorously, you bring the total mixture to a perfect 79º C (174º F), which is well beyond the 71º C (160º F) at which temperature all bacteria are killed.

You will find useful information on choosing the right ingredients, at the end of the recipe.

Special Equipment needed:

Ice Cream Machine

The recipe at a glance:

Whisk the egg yolks, then place them back in the fridge. Warm the cream and sugar. Bring to a boil and pour over the egg yolks, whisking vigorously.

Add the custard into the chestnut puree, stirring to combine. Blend on high and then place over an ice bath. Store in the refrigerator overnight to chill.

Churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker. Slowly add the brandy. Store in the freezer to set for 4-5 hours, before serving.

This batch is for an ice cream maker of 1.5 litre/quart capacity.


→ read more about the ingredients in the footnotes ←

  • 450 gr heavy cream 35% fat ( 15.9 ounces  / 2 cups  )
  • 200 gr demerara raw cane sugar or regular white sugar ( 7 ounces / 1 cup )
  • 60 gr egg yolks, cold from the fridge ( 2.1 ounces; about 3 large egg yolks )
  • 440 gr chestnut puree, unsweetened ( 15.5 ounces / 1 can )
  • 30 gr brandy, cognac or rum ( optional )

for volume measurements: 1 cup = 235 ml, 1 Tbs. = 15 ml, 1 tsp = 5 ml

Step 1 – Make the Custard

Put the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl, and whisk them lightly to break them down. Put them back in the fridge, keeping the whisk in the bowl.

In a medium, 2-litre (2-quart), saucepan with a long handle, put the heavy cream and sugar. Warm over medium heat, stirring often with a silicone spatula, until the sugar dissolves.

Increase the heat to high and remove the egg yolks from the fridge. When the cream comes to a full boil, let it boil for 10 seconds. Remove from the heat, and immediately start pouring it in a steady stream into the egg yolks, holding the saucepan with one hand, while whisking the egg yolks vigorously with the other.

While the mixture is warm, use the spatula to thoroughly scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, where residues of egg yolk lie.

Let the custard cool briefly, before proceeding to step 2.

Step 2 – Combine the Custard with the Chestnut Puree

In a large bowl, put the chestnut puree and mix it with a spoon to soften it. Start adding the hot custard (from step 1) into the chestnut puree, a little at a time, stirring well before each addition, to obtain a homogenised mixture.

Finish by blending it for a couple of minutes (in a blender or with an immersion blender).

Let it cool over an ice bath.

How to prepare an ice bath - click to see

You will need a large bowl, larger than the bowl with the prepared ice cream base. Put in some ice cubes and cold water. Carefully nest the bowl with the ice cream base in it. Pour more cold water from the sides, till it reaches the ice cream base in the inner bowl in height. Take extra care not to spill any water into the ice cream base.

When the custard has cooled, pour it through a mesh strainer into a sealable container.

Cover with the lid and leave in the refrigerator overnight to cool, or if you are in a hurry, read the instructions below.

In a hurry? Here is how to speed things up:

If you want to bypass the overnight refrigeration process and churn the ice cream sooner, you can put the tepid ice cream in a sealable bag, place it in a large container, fully cover it with ice and let it chill for a few hours ( it may take up to 3 hours to properly cool ).

The downside of this method is that you will need lots of ice. You will also need a thermometer to check if the temperature has reached the desired 4º C ( about 39º F ).

Step 3 – Churn the Chestnut Ice Cream

Prepare the ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Give the chestnut ice cream base a good stir to homogenise it.

With the machine running, pour the chilled chestnut ice cream custard through the canister and into the ice cream machine. Leave it to churn until thick and creamy. This ice cream does not expand considerably in volume, due to the high solid content of the chestnuts. Stop the ice cream machine when the ice cream texture does not seem to change any more.

When the chestnut ice cream is ready, start pouring the brandy (or cognac/rum) slowly through the canister; letting it churn for 10 minutes so it is fully absorbed. If your ice cream machine cannot proceed, open the lid and mix the brandy by hand, using a spoon.

Remove the machine from the freezer bowl. Without removing the ice cream from the freezer bowl, cover with a lid, and put it into the freezer.

Leave for 4-5 hours for the ice cream to set properly, before serving or attempting to remove to another sealable container for longer storage.

Tip: if you are using a metal container to store the ice cream, put it in the freezer along with the ice cream maker, to freeze for 4-5 hours. This will prevent the ice cream from melting when you transfer the ice cream there from the ice cream bowl. Placing it in the freezer for under an hour will not be enough, especially in summer.

Storing the Chestnut Ice Cream

This ice cream, like all artisanal ice creams, freezes hard in the long term.

You will have to soften it before serving by removing from the freezer and putting it in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Discard after one month of keeping in the freezer.

Ingredients notes:

Demerara sugar is a variety of raw cane sugar and gives depth of flavour. You may use any kind of raw cane sugar you like, as long as it is light brown in colour.

Regular white sugar works well too, although it doesn’t help in building flavour.

Chestnut puree: Check the ingredients listed on the packaging of the store-bought chestnut puree: there should only be two ingredients: 70% chestnuts, water.

Do not use a chestnut puree which contains sugar, aroma, stabilizers or any other ingredients, other than chestnuts and water. Do not use products labelled as “Chestnut Spread”.

Also note that if the chestnuts are less than 70%, the chestnut flavour of the ice cream will be milder.

This is the one I use. Do not confuse it with their chestnut spread.

I do not recommend making your own chestnut puree and using it in this recipe, because the water content of a homemade puree may be very different from the store-bought variety.

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